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You can't be what you can't see.
That's one of the main themes of Miss Representation, a new documentary that takes a long hard look how the mainstream media portrays women - and how that message is received by teen and tween girls.
Just turn on the TV and see for yourself: Commercials and television shows are filled with images of skimpily clad, over sexualized women flaunting their physical "assets."
"There is no appreciation for women intellectuals," says one high school student in the trailer. "It's all about the body, not about the brain."
Created by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film explores how the media shapes and influences the way that people think about women. And the results are more than a little disturbing: girls are appreciated for being attractive and sexy, while men are valued for their power and dominance. Worst of all, the few truly powerful women in our society are subjected to a gauntlet of criticism about their physical appearance.
Why is it acceptable for a newscaster to ask Sarah Palin if she's had a boob job? When's the last time a male political candidate was asked if he underwent plastic surgery?
"The fact that media are so derogatory to the most powerful women in the country.. what does it say about media's ability to take any woman in America seriously?" asked Jennifer Pozner,
In the words of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, "We're shortchanging voices that are urgently needed in public forums from ever getting to the table."
With interviews from Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Geena Davis, Lisa Ling, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem, this film is a powerful commentary on the state of our country and a true must-see for all mothers and daughters.
Watch the trailer below:
Visit the website for more information on free screenings near you and other ways to see the film.